Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Passion Party #486 - How it Happens

I had been thinking about writing a new ballad for quite a while.

Recently I listened to "Relaxin' with The Miles Davis Quintet".  These classic albums from the late 50's are often the touchstone that trigger my creativity.

One song struck me, "You're My Everything", by Harry Warren.  The block chords from Red Garland, the sparse playing by Miles and Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones.  An incredible mood.

I thought I would follow that song form, and write my own ballad.  But what would it be?

This morning I woke up thinking about a song that would connect "The Pursuit of Passion" to my musical world.  It would need to be heart-based, as this pursuit is all about following your heart.

How about "Follow Your Heart"?  I know John McLaughlin wrote a song by that title.  Many songs have been written with that title, why not one more?

I heard a song that would start with block chords, and a melodic phrase that would change and vary, stretching with each reiteration to fit the chords as they wandered.

A little turn of musical phrase.

I woke up, did my stretches, and sat down at the piano with some blank sheet music, and the chord progression of "You're My Everything" as my guide.

The melody flowed out onto the page.

The song is in the key of C, but I wanted a song that would never resolve, so wherever the resolution appeared, I added a substitute chord.  The melody continued to float onto the page.

The melody is searching, changing, finally settling in for the last four bars, settling in but never resolving to C.  Instead it ends on A flat major, with C in the melody. 

Like even when you know you are home, some things change and leave you feeling that there is more to do, more to explore.

In about an hour, the song was complete.

And that's how it happens.

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